GUEST BLOG: Tadhg Stopford – Mother: “Why is Labour harming my child?”



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“I don’t understand how the government can be so cruel” says mother of two Katy Thomas, “they are sitting by on an issue that is more urgent than ever. They are definitely inflicting harm on my child.”

Her son Eddy (Edward, 6) suffers severe nocturnal seizures, and customs destroyed his prescribed Hemp CBD this week.
Eddy’s epilepsy is so extreme that it can stop his breathing long enough that his brain starts to die; and the only thing that helps him are Hemp plant extracts called cannabinoids.
Hemp Cannabinoids like CBD and CBC are, according to GP Dr Ben Jansen “inherently safe products”.
 In support, Tadhg Stopford of offers that, “In Europe, the UK, and the USA, CBDs are freely available to citizens as dietary supplements and cosmetic ingredients. The approach taken by the NZ govt and its agencies is overkill. There is no basis in science, public submissions, or international experience to support these policies. They do not serve the public interest.”
 Globally, Epilepsy is a $5 billion dollar ‘market category’, but abundant pre-clinical, historical, clinical, and anecdotal evidence suggests that hemp extracts could slash these revenues; including the $26m per year that Pharmac spends on dangerous anti-epileptic pharmaceuticals.
“It’s curious” says Mr Stopford, “the World Health Organisation says CBD has ‘no scope for abuse’, AND, it has been proven to help with everything from pain, epilepsy, Cancer, anxiety, stroke, brain protection and more. So it’s odd that MedSafe took it from being an unregulated (freely available) product, to being a drug with tighter controls than opiates in 2016. The way in which they did so is also of concern.”
In fact, Dr Keith Bedford, the General Manager of ESR, felt so strongly about MedSafes unscientific classification of CBD that he made a statement to the High Court in 2016 to “defend the integrity of the criminal justice system.”
“Jacinda is a mother, I can’t imagine she would permit this, who is advising her? The medical cannabis scheme is broken. It does not work.” says Katy. She, Eddy, and New Zealand, deserve better. Who benefits from preventing the public access to safe and effective compounds?
It’s time for an amnesty on patients and use until we can put some rational and humane laws in place. The law commission report is labour policy, and should be implemented.


Tadhg Stopford is a historian, medical educator. He wrote NZs first Hemp Medicine Course for RNZCGP’s in 2017, and the NZSC bio unit ‘Canna-biology’ in 2020.

 Tadhg is co-founder of, and a contract lecturer at South Pacific College of Natural Medicine. His 2017-19 RNZCGP survey data on cannabis is here.


  1. Medical cannabis has turned into a vicious joke in this country. We are at the point that those enforcing the law uses feelings to trump facts. As so starkly pointed out here, and many other cases I’m helping people with.

    The problem is the labour government are good at saying the right thing, but utterly gutless in pulling in the heads of the ideological zealots in the Ministry of health hell bent of carrying on the War on Drugs. No matter who they hurt or kill in the process.

    40 years I’ve been fighting this, and the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Regulations 2019 is a giant step backwards. It was better when we had the old laws, and they were crap. The lies and bullshit of the MOH is staggering – but then again it is cheaper to euthanize someone, than it is to pay the on going medical costs.

    • Kia Ora Ignatius!
      Yes, ‘safe & legal’ is language used to control us, and protect the vast medicine market from competition/erosion.
      Politically it’s a paradox, they talk one thing and do another. Same old story. Most people are too busy, detached, disenchanted or ill informed to care. Cest la vie, it only takes a few to bring about change, but a lot of effort!

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